Sunday, March 9, 2014

A chair, a switch, and enlightenment

At some point, Barnabas learned how lights work.

The little green time-out chair

This dawned on me just this morning. A few minutes ago, in fact. From the living room I heard his little green time-out chair being pushed across the tile floor so that he could reach the bedroom light switch. I knew that's what it was because he did the same thing yesterday morning. But today the question came to mind: When did he learn that?

I realize now that he made the light-switch-light-bulb long ago. In both the living room and the dining room I've had to tell him to stop playing with the lights. That in itself is an abstraction, because he wasn't playing with the lights, but rather with the switch. Before that he was telling me to kai deng when entering a dark room.

When did he realize that the switched controlled the lights? When did he realize that he could do it himself? Somewhere along the way I missed it.

I'm somewhat stopped in my tracks. How many other moments have I missed? The number is likely to large to count. But the application is much broader. How many wonderful things going on around me do I miss every day because my mind is focused elsewhere? How many wonderful things about living here in the US am I neglecting to notice because my gaze it set on China or those things I've lost?

How many more moments will I miss?

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